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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A Reef Manager's Guide To Coral Bleaching

Reef managers guide
Right-click on the image to download the full report (pdf, 5MB)

Mass coral bleaching events have increased in frequency and severity over the past two decades associated with anomalously high sea surface temperatures.  These events have produced wide-spread coral mortality and significant ecological, social and economic impacts to coral reefs and the communities that depend on them.  What can local coral reef managers do to address coral bleaching events? 

While the fate of coral reefs will be determined by a variety of stressors including the rate and extent of climate change, the new report “A Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching” concludes that reef managers have a critical role to play in maximising the resilience of reefs to coral bleaching.

The Reef Manager’s Guide provides information on the causes and consequences of coral bleaching, and management strategies to help local and regional reef managers reduce this threat to coral reef ecosystems.

Produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Reef Manager’s Guide includes contributions from over 50 experts in coral bleaching and coral reef management from 30 organizations.

The Reef Manager's Guide to Coral Bleaching (full report, pdf 5MB):

1. Managing for Mass Coral Bleaching ( pdf, 1MB)

Mass Bleaching As An Emergent Issue

A Strategy For Management

2. Responding to a Mass Bleaching Events ( pdf, 780KB)

Developing A Bleaching Response Plan

Predicting Mass Coral Bleaching Events

Assessing Ecological Impacts

Assessing Social And Economic Impacts

Implementing Management Measures During Bleaching Events

Communicating About Mass Bleaching

3. Building Long-term Reef Resilience ( pdf, 2MB)


Identifying Resilient Coral Reef Areas

Using Marine Protected Areas To Increase Resilience

Broader Management Interventions To Increase Resilience

Reef Restoration Strategies

4. Coral Bleaching – A Review of the Causes and Consequences ( pdf, 469KB)

What Is Coral Bleaching?

Factors That Confer Resilience To Coral Bleaching

Can Corals Adapt To Climate Change?

Reefs And People In The Future

5. Enabling Management:  A Policy Review ( pdf, 98KB)

Coral Reefs

Climate Science

Biological Diversity


Marshall P.A. and Schuttenberg, H.Z. (2006).  A Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching.  Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia (ISBN 1-876945-40-0)

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